JUNE 2010

MTF Announces the 2009 Achievement & Technical Awards

MTF announced the 2009 Achievement and Technical Awards at its recent Technical Symposium held in Princeton, NJ. This series of awards is given in recognition of excellence in tissue donation and recovery services.
Mike Real, MTF Vice President of Procurement, states, "It is with great pleasure that MTF recognizes these Recovery Partners for their excellence in tissue donation and recovery. The hard work and dedication of these organizations make a significant difference in MTF’s ability to help serve transplant recipients, donors, and their families."

Achievement Awards

Donors per Million Award - in recognition of the highest number of MTF tissue donors per million population in service area:

Midwest Transplant Network (98.8 donors per million)

Percentage Increase in Donors - in recognition of the highest increase in MTF tissue donors from 2008 to 2009:

Lifesharing (38.6% increase)

Technical Awards

The Golden Glove Award - in recognition of excellence in the sterile recovery of allografts for transplantation:

Carolina Donor Services (Pre/No Autopsy)
Carolina Donor Services (Post Autopsy)

The Golden Scalpel Award - in recognition of superior surgical technique of soft tissue allografts:

MTF Tissue Services California (large program)
LifeChoice Donor Services (small program)

The Golden Graft Award - in recognition for excellence in the recovery of skin grafts:

MTF Tissue Services Albany (Split Thickness)
LifeSharing (Dermal)

The Golden Hourglass Award - in recognition of excellence in the facilitation of donor releases:

LifeCenter Northwest
Nebraska Organ Recovery System


(left to right) Carole Kochick, MTF’s Quality Improvement Case Manager, presents the Golden Hourglass Award—Most Improved to LifeSource. Accepting the award are Mary Kill, Quality Assurance Coordinator, and Angela Johnson, Tissue Recovery Coordinator.

New for 2009

The Golden HourglassMost Improved - in recognition of the largest improvement from 2008 to 2009:

LifeSource - 70 point increase on RMRR Report

The following Recovery Partners were also recognized with certificates for reaching a level of "best practice" in donor chart release:

Arkansas Organ Recovery Agency
Carolina Donor Services
Donor Network of Arizona
Intermountain Donor Services
LifeChoice Donor Services
Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency
MTF Tissue Services of California
New Jersey Organ & Tissue Sharing Network
New York Organ Donor Network
Organ Donor Center of Hawaii
Rochester Eye & Human Parts Bank
Transplant Services Center

MTF Introduces Virtual Education Series

In an effort to provide strong educational programs for our partners, MTF recently developed a monthly series of interactive education webinars. These teleconferences will supplement the popular NOCC education calls. Each month targets specific audiences and covers tissue focused issues. We offer CTBS CEUs, allowing personnel to meet certification requirements virtually. Beginning January 2011, MTF will offer ABTC units for organ recovery personnel who wish to stay current on tissue issues. 

Look for invitations and topic announcements to be distributed two weeks prior to scheduled dates. Upcoming topics include: Spine Recoveries; Medical Examiner/Coroner Liaison Issues; QA/Regulatory Issues; and Donor Family Services topics.

New MTF Poster Still Available

A new full-color poster that visually honors the beauty of giving was created by MTF to commemorate National Donate Life Month, and was sent to all MTF Recovery Partners. Feel free to order additional posters, or other materials from the MTF Communications Department. Contact Tracy Jean at Tracy_Jean@mtf.org or 732-661-2132. These free materials are created as part of MTF’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about the benefits of tissue donation.


Elaine Ulias Embodies MTF Spirit and Mission

Elaine Ulias, pictured here in the MTF Donor Memorial Sculpture Garden.

Elaine Ulias of MTF’s Accounting Department may be too modest to recount the many contributions she has made during her 16-year tenure, but her colleagues are not. They all praise Elaine for the kindness, integrity and compassion she brings to her work as Accounts Payable Compliance Specialist, the main liaison between MTF and its recovery partners on all financial matters.

Elaine’s soft-spoken and gentle demeanor belie her capable professional aptitudes and strong principles.
"I am a quiet person who is not big on words," she says. "I would like to let my actions speak louder than
my words."

Indeed they do. MTF Senior Regional Director Betty McNamara notes that Elaine not only works hard to validate recovery costs, monitor all standard acquisition charges, and assure that invoices are paid fairly and accurately, but she makes a personal impression with all her colleagues. 

"The programs I work with sing the praises of Elaine," said Betty. "Her patience in assisting someone to understand the invoice process; her quick response time to questions and requests, even when it means staying late; her remembrance of personal conversations with co-workers, and her kind manner toward everyone all demonstrate MTF qualities and beliefs on a daily basis."

"Not only has it been a joy working with my MTF colleagues, but working with our recovery partners on financial and billing issues has been pleasant and productive," says Elaine. "Even though MTF has grown from a very small company when I started to about 1,000 employees now, we still maintain the ‘personal touch’ every way we possibly can."

MTF Senior Regional Director Pam Rawlins remembers when she was new at MTF and Elaine would find her lost in the hallways.

"She would patiently help me find someone, and she would always take the time to answer a question or solve a problem, no matter how high her desk was piled," said Pam. "Elaine not only exemplifies the values of MTF with her integrity, dedication and quality of work, but Elaine is kind, she is soooo kind."

As an active member of the MTF Green Team, Elaine is deeply committed to protecting the environment for her three grandchildren. She credits her inspiration to Valerie Ceccarelli, another MTF Green Team member from Jessup, Pennsylvania, who offers guidance and leadership. Recently the Green Team presented some significant programs for Earth Day in April.

Elaine presented an Earth Day tribute at MTF’s quarterly meeting in which she gave an overview of the history of Earth Day and reviewed ways to celebrate the earth. She was also instrumental in coordinating the MTF online photo album in honor of Earth Day.

Since Earth Day also coincided with Bring Your Child to Work Day at MTF, several children helped plant a weeping cherry tree near the MTF Donor Memorial Sculpture Garden. Elaine had the children talk about why trees are important to help the earth, and helped the children distribute dirt around the tree with a small beach shovel.

Just like the wide impact created by Earth Day, Elaine describes tissue and organ donation as having the same principles as living green.  

"Everything is interconnected," she said. "God has given us precious gifts and if others can reuse them, why not?  We are all connected." Elaine’s philosophy of giving can best be summed up by her favorite quote by John Muir: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." Elaine Ulias is well attached to the MTF world. 

Wisconsin Remembrance Ceremony Celebrates the Legacy of Giving

Teresa Davis joins Statline as DonorTrac Product Director

"When someone dies, you don’t get over your grief by forgetting, you get over your grief by remembering."
Pat Schwiebert, Grief Watch

On April 25, 2010 over 100 people attended the annual 2010 Wisconsin Donor Remembrance Ceremony held in Wausau, Wisconsin. This gathering gives donor families a venue to network with those who may have shared similar experiences, and to honor the memory of their donors. A candlelight service, a remembrance table of photos, favorite poems and memorabilia, and a video montage of donor photos helped celebrate those who gave the gift of life. To reinforce the legacy that each donor leaves, three tissue recipients spoke about the gift of tissue they received.

Pictured here against the backdrop of a donor memorial quilt is guest speaker and tissue recipient Katie Flournoy. When she was a 19 year-old college sophomore, Katie was diagnosed with a Giant Cell Tumor in her right arm. Her surgeon used an allograft to reconstruct part of Katie’s distal radius. Katie now is honored to speak to donor families on behalf of tissue donation.

Teresa Davis has been selected for the position of DonorTrac Product Director at Statline. Teri was most recently with LifeLine of Ohio in the position of Clinical Procurement Manager. Teri is a critical care nurse with over 20 years of experience and has worked at LifeLine of Ohio for eight years. She has been an ardent supporter and expert user of the DonorTrac software.

Teri joined Statline on April 12th and is very excited and eager to assume her new role. Her office will be located in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Teri at Teri_Davis@statline.org.

OUR Revelry

The following article was written by Jeff Dauber, Associate Director of the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM), a division of MTF. It appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of For Those Who Give and Grieve, the quarterly newsletter for donor families, published by the National Kidney Foundation; it is reprinted here with permission from the NKF.

OUR Revelry
By Jeff Dauber, Donor Father

Last year, my wife and I designed an outdoor garden in front of our home to honor the legacy of our daughter Miranda Grace, who died in 1998 at two months old. She was a heart valve donor.

The garden contains flowers, hanging antiques, wind chimes and old items like a wagon wheel from the family farm. We have a fountain that depicts a small girl crouching by a pond with her hands cupped, catching a stream of water flowing from a fish’s mouth.

At night, white strands of lights and tiki torches illuminate the garden. The bench area is pointed like an arrow and faces north (as though it were pointing to heaven). We also use the area to feed the many wild birds that live in our woods. Miranda’s "zen" garden is a very special place for us.

Inspired by the garden, I wrote the following lyrics last summer:


I can hear the deep of the wood
I can hear the highway rolling on
I can hear church bells, solemn in
the rain
And I can hear every word that you
will say
I can see the sky after the sun
And I rely on the coming up
I concede all further battles tonight
I can see your shadows in the light
And by the full of the moon, the
fish and the girl
Share secrets
Of certain revelry, our revelry
Our revelries.